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Still a long way to go to reach goal of zero vehicle fatalities in B.C.

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March 31, 2016 - 1:00 PM


THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Speed, impairment and distracted driving are being blamed for many vehicle crash fatalities in B.C., and are part of the reason why the province still has quite a bit of work to do before the goal of a zero fatality rate can be reached.

There were nearly 270 fatalities in B.C. during 2013, down from 440 in 2004, according to a provincial report. The report outlines how we can work towards lowering the number of fatalities and serious injuries due to vehicle crashes.

"Road safety is still a critical public-health issue," Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall says in a media release. "Any preventable death or serious injury is unacceptable, including those that occur as the result of a motor vehicle crash. Though B.C. has seen a notable two-thirds decrease in motor vehicle crash fatalities since 1996, we could still achieve lower rates of fatalities and serious injuries-especially in vulnerable road users.

"My report makes a number of evidence-based recommendations to reduce the burden of motor vehicle crashes on our health and improve road safety in British Columbia."

Among the 28 recommendations outlined in the report are supporting viable alternatives to vehicles, protecting vulnerable road users, establishing a road safety group, prioritize cyclist and pedestrian safety, expand initiatives to reduce alcohol impaired driving and cell phone — and other handheld devices — use while driving, and reducing speed limits in municipalities and treaty lands to 30 kilometres per hour.

The report breaks down the causes behind fatal crashes over the years, as well as fatality rates by region, age, sex and status Indian compared to other residents.

While the Interior Health region makes up only 15.9 per cent of the population, it accounts for 38.8 per cent of the traffic fatalities, based on 2012 numbers provided in the report.

The report, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Reducing the Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes on Health and Well-being in B.C, was released by the Provincial Health Office.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-274.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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